We all know how tough it is to keep up with our diets and exercise routines when coworkers are constantly bringing in baked goods, candy, and other yummy treats. Being healthy is not only essential to maintaining our waistlines, but there is plenty of research out there to suggest that staying healthy helps improve productivity and reduces the number of sick days employees take. Of course, everyone is entitled to some sick time, but preventing days off needed due to illness is better for your company, and remaining focused during work hours is also a key factor in getting through this busy season. We have some ideas for keeping up a healthy lifestyle at work and at home. Managers, be sure to post or forward this to your team to encourage them to be their healthiest, even during this sweet season!
- Do not walk by the communal candy bowl unless you need to. Having "just one" piece of candy a few times a day can add up to over 200 calories! Many offices don't even have these until the holidays roll around, and then they are always full. Do yourself a favor and walk that way only when you absolutely need to.
- When your coworker brings in goodies, use the three-bite rule. Three bites of your favorite cookie or cake is enough to satisfy a craving. Don't want to be rude? No problem! Ask another health-conscious coworker to split it with you.
- Account for some sweets in your daily caloric allowance. It is okay to have some leeway with your diet. The point is to not get out of control. Allow yourself one small cookie or one piece of candy for the day. This will help you feel that you are not depriving yourself, but setting a low limit will prevent you from going overboard.
- Write down what you eat. Keeping a food journal seems to help many people pay attention to the amount of food and beverages they take in, as well as the amount of calories consumed each day. When you watch the numbers add up, you will be less likely to overconsume.
- Substitute something better for what you are craving. When you see your coworkers bring in sweets or candy, grab an apple or other piece of fruit. This is still sweet, but is much better nutritionally and will not contain the amount of fat and processed sugars that most candy and sweets have. Just make sure to bring these with you to the office!
- Avoid them whenever possible. Finally, these rules should apply to the rest of your life if you want to be successful while you are at the office. If you have self control while you are at home and do not overeat or indulge too much in less healthy options, you will be more successful at work. Give your best effort all the time!
The holiday season is tough with so much going on, employees taking vacations, and the constant access to treats. However, with some effort, you and your team can avoid those extra pounds and sick days that come with overconsumption of sugar. We also recently wrote about staying active during this season, which can further help you and your staff to remain healthy (TradePost, 10/25/12).
Readers: What tips can you offer to those who need help staying healthy during the holidays?